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gustier winds this summer?
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jgda



Joined: 19 Jul 1999
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:48 am    Post subject: gustier winds this summer? Reply with quote

Is it just me, or is the wind less steady this summer? Seems like we have been getting a lot days with a huge variance and higher top end end gusts. Seems like we typically see this in the spring, but not august...
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stringp



Joined: 20 Aug 2000
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canít speak for any site but Stevenson, but this season seems to be a continuation of a gusty trend. 20 years ago the place was known for the steady nature of winds, like someone turned on a fan. For at least the last few years there has been a increasing trend of unsteadyness. 20 years ago Ski Bowl had a 10í base. Perhaps a product of the warming world we live in.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4603
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 1st of 4 trips to the Gorge was '86, last '91.
Mostly Hatch and Swell for free sailing, Event Site for slalom and trials.
Always been waaaay gustier than Crissy, Larkspur, or Rod.
That's why I stopped travelling in the summer.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19294

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not your imagination. Windfind discussed its causes here last week, and it's just plain OBVIOUS -- even worse than last season -- by many metrics.

I described my experience with it just today in another thread:

My preferred part of the Gorge [essentially Roosevelt] has seen primarily what I call "drive-bys" ... days on end of nothing, occasionally punctuated by bursts of sheer terror (like fighter pilots describe their combat missions). Most of the days that looked good on the charts had 500-1,000 yard wind shadows, so a LOT of good local sailors who drove out east based on the graphs were often very disappointed by reality. The three groups who spent the most time on the water were largely Gorge visitors cramming everything they could into a short vacation, local masochists (by my criteria) who will sail ANYTHING even if it means hours of slogging punctuated by moments of high-risk terror, and Corridor regulars accustomed to crappy conditions. (I used to be in that latter group, so that's neither a guess nor intended as disparagement.) Even some in the second group sometimes gave up and stood around on shore in street clothes, drooling over the huge sheep a kilometer away.

Yesterday was a HUGE improvement in quality, but required a 7.0 until a brief 4.7 drive-by near dusk.
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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I missed the second half of 2005, and the second half of 2015 due to injury, but when this season ends it will be my 37th season straight of sailing the Gorge. I haven't sailed anything bigger than a 3.7 in 20 years. I sail 20 days per year on average. I'm extremely busy and have to steal time to sail, so most of my sailing the last several years has been in the corridor. My observations are from this perspective.

For some reason I don't use the word gusty when describing sailing conditions. I say it's difficult or angry or technical, or easy/gentle. Perhaps the sailing as been more difficult this season. Perhaps the wind has been more of the angry type and less gentle. What I know for sure is that this may be the first season that I've sailed my 3.2 more than my 3.7. I also know that any wind in the corridor in August is considered by me to be a gift. I've sailed 4 or 5 days this month and one hour of that was on my 3.7 while the rest was on my 3.2. Has it been gusty this August? Maybe. It's been windy and that's what matters. If I'm on a 3.2 having the time of my life and someone wants to refer to it as crappy conditions, I suppose that's fine. It means there's more room for me out there.
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dennis1916



Joined: 03 Aug 2000
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:54 am    Post subject: gusty wind Reply with quote

How challenging would it be to take the following pieces to produce a graph and hopefully be used to show a trend?

- Pull from the "Swell/Hatch" graph the hi, low, average points
- 24 hours along with just daylight hours (could even use just sailable days or use a mph threshold)
- once the data points are set, pull data from previous years and compare

Now take that and apply to other sites and compare differences, similarities, and trends. Bigger trees on Wells island, new buildings on waterfront, or other thoughts about the cause/effect.

This could also be a model applied to every site with a "click". As long as the data is there.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19294

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. It's not just the corridor, or just the Gorge, or just the Pacific NW. It's the western U.S., if I read Godsey correctly.

2. Plots seldom indicate reality. Wind that looks great on the screen is often crap on the water, and vice versa. Too many variables to rely on sensors and the resulting charts. Just one example is the high percentage of days we've seen the Arlington sensor show averages of 30 or more mph most of the day, while all we could see from Roosevelt without binoculars was many hundreds of yards without whitecaps.

3. Take dawn patrol in the corridor ... by far my favorite days at the Hatch. They've been all but gone for the past decade or two, compared to the '80s and 90s, having dropped from a few days per week most of the summer to a few days per season. That even affected where I chose to live when my wife retired 16 years ago.

4. I don't need no steenkin' plots to remind me that I used to park and sail out east for 3 to 6 days on end fairly often until about three years ago. For the past two seasons, one-night stands have been a rare and often fruitless treat. Same gear, same criteria, just WAY more drive-bys separated by WAY more 6-7 day doldrums.

5. Then there's that damned dam they blew up on the White Salmon River. MANY locals claim its debris very noticeably impaired the swell from the river mouth well past Swell City.

6. Thermals generally generate the best winds in the Gorge. When it's still flat COLD into June, what's left is often freaking gusty, short-lived frontal drive-bys ya gotta drive and rig for in advance based on faith. Boo, hiss.
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ldhr



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stringp wrote:
Canít speak for any site but Stevenson, but this season seems to be a continuation of a gusty trend. 20 years ago the place was known for the steady nature of winds, like someone turned on a fan. For at least the last few years there has been a increasing trend of unsteadyness. 20 years ago Ski Bowl had a 10í base. Perhaps a product of the warming world we live in.


Interesting - I could not diasgree more......they say the memory is the 3rd thing to deteriorate.

I moved here winter of '93/'94 - Meadows was closed most of the winter due to lack of snow. Heather never opened.
Been windsurfing here since '89 - IMO the corridor has always been an unusually gusty place - Stevenson and out east are steadier.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4603
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My trips back before the heydays always had me staying at Home Valley. Wide river, slow current, very gusty wind,
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19294

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Home Valley was my rescue spot when I got blown off the Hatchery on my 3.2 or 2.8. HV would then be more like a gust-free 4.0, with endless port jumping ... just endless port ramps all the way across. Land, point, jump and repeat until Washington got in the way or that big rock near shore blocked the wind. Sure, there were lighter spots near the Oregon shore in a southerly cant, but we learned to jibe a bit early then.

But what we've seen out east the past couple of years isn't so much holes as insane gusts that many of us consider risky after experiencing and/or seeing too many injuries on top-notch wind hogs. Getting hit by gusts well into the 50s while banking off a lip is a recipe for shoulder injuries I don't want to risk.
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